Category Archives: Uncategorized

Scottish Government Levels

We have updated with another example of wearing face coverings. (Last viewed 1/11/20)

Face Coverings level 3 and 4

We have updated to included Socialising and Hospitality information for the levels. Last viewed 31/10/20

Socialising and Hospitality Levels
 Last viewed 29/10/20


Central Belt Restrictions in Scotland  last viewed 10/10/20

Please remember to regularly check localised guidance for updated information. We have attempted to visualise the rules as best we can. As the rules change, it becomes more complicated for us all. Please bear in mind we are simply visualising the guidance from the Scottish Government website. We do not make them so are unable to answer any questions relating to them. Please contact your local elected official for these answers.

Central Belt Restrictions

Central Belt Travel Restrictions

Visual Explanations

Here we are going to be adding some Visual Explanations to help explain different situations that may arise. Visual Explanations are what we use to help develop understanding, perceptions and development of communication. All behaviour is communication so we would use these alongside analysis of communication, sensory processing and environmental factors.

Colours of symbols are used to show how these can be printed and cut into strips so that young people are not overwhelmed by too much information. This would depend on the young person. With some young people, we would use this as a poster and refer throughout the day. For other young people we would cut them into strips so they can be taken to other areas more easily.

PDF versions can be downloaded by clicking on the blue underlined words.

What should I do when I am hurt

when should i wash hands

I need to move

I need help

Mum is having a baby

okay and not okay

okay angry

Scottish Government Guidance Update September

Please note we are visualising the guidance only. We have no input nor access to further information. Please contact your local elected representatives if you have any questions. households

Restrictions in scotland retail hospitality tourism

Self Isolating

Test and Protect Self Isolate Last viewed 29/9/20


Scottish Government Update September

These are the visuals we have created based on the speech from the first minister. This can be found in the link below. Please make sure you check localised guidance regularly for the most up to date information. We are only visualising the information and only have the information from the speech and the government website. Therefore we cannot answer any questions in relation to the change of rules or what they mean.

Scot Gov Update

After School Communication

“How was school today?” One of the most challenging questions to ask. As parents, we never know what the response will be. For some of our children and young people, it can be hard to articulate. For others, school is finished and they have already experienced it. It is present in their mind and they have the knowledge. It can be hard for them to recognise that we haven’t experienced the same as them, therefore we do not know.  For others, they are so exhausted that they cannot bear to talk about it.

We worry.

To help, we have created a couple of resources. We would laminate these resources for our children/pupils and use a whiteboard pen. This can help take away some of the anxiety and give you some information.

Today in school I liked

My favourite thing this week was

Face Coverings In Schools

We have updated this blog to include Adults Wearing Masks in Schools.

Adults wearing masks in school (26/8/20) (26/8/20)

This visual is to support the understanding of where to wear masks in school based in the Scottish Government Guidance. Information based on the above guidance from the Scottish Government.

Wearing Masks in Secondary Schools


Face Coverings


Teaching Time

We will build this up over the next few weeks. Resources can always be adapted to include the use of consistent visuals. Each pack follows a similar layout in order to provide consistency and to relieve anxiety of new things!

We are quite excited about our half past resource! We think it’s better than our original o’clock one! Sorting am and pm requires cutting along the line.

Remember to click the blue words on our blog to open up the PDF version.

quarter past

quarter to

Time Half Past

Time Half Past

Time o’clock


Secondary Timetables

It can be difficult for some of our young people to organise what they need for a full day of school. To support them, we have created a powerpoint that can be used at home/school and printed. This could then be attached to a keyring and kept on the young person’s bag.

To use, click and download the powerpoint. Open on a computer/tablet and copy and paste/move the visuals to make up the individual timetable for each day. Remember times may differ for each school/authority so please double check times before hand.

This is an example of how it could look.

Secondary timetables interactive – Powerpoint

Feeling Angry

Many of our returning pupils ( and adults) may experience anger next week but may not be able to explain why. Recognising this and supporting them, will provide positivie opportunities to develop self help strategies for life long skills.

angry– Downloadable version

Sharing information

It is so important in schools that we all know the best ways to support our pupils. This activity below can be printed and written on or downloaded and typed. Another option is to download to powerpoint and use the visuals. Visuals can be seen and understood quicker by most brains so benefits everyone…staff included.

Symbols can be dragged on to show what sensory issues staff need to be aware of. Daily requirements such as using overlays or a first/then board can be included. Extra information might include details of calming strategies or where to find required resources etc.

About Me – Powerpoint version

Below is an example of how this might look.


All Behaviour is Communication

When we look at situations, we often see the behaviour. It is crucially important that we look beyond the behaviour and look at the reason for the behaviour. There will always be one.

When working with our new neuro-divergent children and young people, this needs to be concerned before we react. We also need to look at developing their self awareness. These resources are to further develop this.

Overload 1


Getting to Know Me Activities

Returning to school can be tricky. As teachers, having a bank of easy to use and adapt resources is key for the first few days any year, but this year these resources need to be adapted to include a greater focus on supporting  the emotional needs and mental health needs of our pupils. To help with this, we will be adding in resources over the next few days.

Getting to know me


This resource can be used as an interactive activity on a smart device. (see our previous posts on how to do this.)

It is about opening up how our children/young people feel. It is an activity that can be used as a one off or on a more regular basis.

How I feel Young Person

How I think I’m feeling

We have also made one for older teenagers/adults.

How I feel Adult

Returning to School Emotions

As the return to school is fast approaching. many of our pupils (and staff) will be feeling a range of emotions. Due to the length of time that has passed, we need to be so aware of ensuring that we are all aware of the emotions being experienced by those around us. These are challenging times for adults. We cannot begin to imagine how challenging this is for some of our children and young people. Some may react in ways we would not expect. Some of our children and young people may cope better than expected while others less so.

We need to support them as they need it.

Returning to School Emotions


It can be really tricky for some of our young people to understand seeing people out of context. With guidance beginning to relax, having visitors coming into their homes or them going to visit in others’ homes can be difficult to understand. To support this, we have created an interactive board. This can be either printed or saved to a tablet that has powerpoint or keynote. Please note this opens on a computer on powerpoint.

Instructions are at the bottom of this post.

Interactive Visitors

Home routines

We have included some resources to support routines at home. At the bottom of the post there is some advice on how to support communication.

Home Routine Resources (PDF Available here)

These are some examples of place you may go or what you may do.

Below are blank day boards. You can add Velcro to the boards or use tac to make them reusable. You can use one strip or the full day board.

Below is an example of a week board. This could be used to show upcoming events for the week or could be used to show where child/young person will go e.g. school-club-home etc.

Below is a first and then/now and next board.


Depending on the stage of development of your child/young person photographs or objects may be more appropriate. For example use a first and then board and place a spoon on first and a duplo block on then. Once you have done this, you would use speech while pointing/touching “First Breakfast (point to spoon). Then Blocks (point to block).”

When using visuals, objects or photographs the verbal is as important to help the child/young person to make the connections and support brain development and processing skills.

Family Summer Bucket List

This year the summer holidays are going to be different than previous years. There are so many things we can do to keep the summer holidays fun. So we have created a Bucket List for families to try! This may not be appropriate for all families, as always, these are just some ideas! We have a million more so might make another one up!

Family Bucket List

My School Passport

Many people enjoy looking through photo albums or have wee boxes or folders of memories and keepsakes. This is important for our children and Young People too. We have created this wee booklet (Click the blue underlined words to open our PDF) that can work as both a transition document and a keepsake. Each year pages 3 and 4 could be printed and added to their booklet.

My School Passport

How Can I Prepare My Child for their Return to School?

Many of our parents are concerned about how their children and young people will cope with their return to school. Schools are working incredibly hard to try and get everything worked out to ensure everything is ready for our children and young people on their return in August. Everyone is working with the unknown. To try to help, we have made up a wee booklet that some of our parents have been asking about.

What can I do to help prepare my child

Returning in September? Use these pages instead!

Return to School in September



Facing bereavement can be difficult at any stage of our life. For our children and young people, they may react in ways we would never expect. Or they may react exactly as we thought. It can be hard to prepare for whether it is sudden or expected. There are lots of excellent resources out there to support and explain to our young people.

Here are a couple of our examples.

when a person dies

when a person dies page 2

Explaining and understanding death


Covid Worries for a Young Person

Many of our young people and older children are concerned about Covid-19. Again, using our understanding of the value of facing fear with facts.

This is important to only use the bits that are relevant and appropriate for your young person/ child. You know them best. If the example of the shop would mean they won’t want to go to a shop, then cut that bit off.

Worried about covid

Black Lives Matter


Black Lives Matter.

Remember, use only what is appropriate for your children/young people. Some of this may be upsetting so please use appropriately.

Anyone who follows our blog regularly will be aware that we make resources to support communication. Part of communication is understanding. Many people are trying desperately to understand what is happening in the world right now. Our children and young people too. We have based referenced our research below.

We have attempted to explain what ‘Black Lives Mean’ as best as we can. We are listening and we are learning.




References (05/06/20) (05/06/2020) (05/06/20)

Story and Sentence Support

When it comes to story writing, many of our children and young people have fantastic ideas but can find it difficult to process these ideas and focus on the physical requirements of forming each letter and word to make up the sentence of story. How many times do we find that asking the child or young person about their story or essay,they are able give us so much more than we see on their page?

To help with this, we have created sentence boards, where the pupil would select the image they want (these can easily be tailored to suit individual pupils likes/interests.

For those pupils who find it hard to start, we have the choice boards.

PDF available here Story Support

Teaching about Perceptions

There are many things people learn naturally. Others are that are specifically taught. Some are straight forward and others are more difficult.

Trying to get someone to take on board that someone else may have a different point of view or perception that is just as valid as their own is a tricky one.

We will be adding more resources to this in the coming weeks and months as many people will need this to be repeated and taught again.


Keeping Myself Safe

We recognise that with new guidance from the Scottish governments, some people may find it difficult to understand new rules or may find it difficult to understand other’s perceptions of these. To combat this, we have made up a couple of resources to help.


Breathing Exercises

Krysten Taprell has very kindly given us permission to visualise some of the amazing breathing techniques she discuss on her blog.
Karen Taprell says on her blog that when we slow our breathing down and keep it in rhythm then the body will follow.  She also says that being anxious, leads to a flight/flight reaction which can stimulate the Vagus Nerve. If breathing can be controlled then a message is sent to this nerve which causes the body to release calming chemicals.

Getting dressed

We will continue to update this as and when we can.

It  can be hard for some people to get dressed. Having to process the order correctly and ensure they have what they need can use up a lot of brain power. Some days could be easy and other days it could take a long time.

To help with this, we are going to make some visuals that take off some of the pressure.

Labelling drawers-  Using visuals rather than having to rely n memory is one of the easiest ways to help relieve some of the pressure. Seeing where the items you need are, can make a huge difference.

Differentiated Alphabet Board

We have been looking at some resources to support pupils once they are in school.

As a teacher, I would print this out in black and white or give a small version to pupils to keep. Once the taught lesson to introduce how to use the letter, what sound it makes and what the letter name has happened. I would cover that letter with a coloured version. See picture below for example.

You may want to introduce vowels.

Your learners may prefer something more subtle.

You may want it to be colourful.

These are just some of our suggestions. We have included the PDF file below which contains all of these images.

Alphabet boards


Scottish Government’s Phased Approach Visualised

Many of our family and friends are visual learners. As we have has discussed many times before, visuals are easier to process and understand for many. We are currently visualising the Scottish Government’s phased approach to varying restrictions due to Covid-19.

Phase1 2 3 4

We are also making up communication boards to show what you can do during each phase.

Phase 1 Activities

What can i do in phase 2

Returning to School after Covid-19

Everyone is concerned about returning to school. We have made a wee booklet to help. We would also suggest that staff begin now by playing games online with pupils such as “Guess the staff behind the mask?” Take a picture wearing a mask and post  in on social media or make a booklet. Show pictures of staff wearing masks and staff not wearing masks. Encourage the children and young people to see the mask as something that isn’t scary. Many of our pupils will struggle with the change in physical appearance, but we will continue to update our blog with more ideas to support them.


Returning to school

Initiating Communication

Questioning and answering is an essential and natural part of communication. For some it can be difficult because the brain has to work too hard to process the information and then find an appropriate response. Having sentence starters can help.

We have made a pack of sentence starters that can be used as small cards or mini posters.


When I feel…I can…

Emotions can be a tricky business. We all experience them, but our experience of them differs based on our past and our interpretation of situations. Sometimes we can feel sad but it is a small emotion, other times it is all consuming. Our children and young people experience this too. We need to find ways to help them experience and feel those emotions, without them causing distress or trauma. Sometimes distractions are helpful to allow the opportunity to feel and process the emotion without confrontation or without the emotion being registered as a different feeling. How many times does embarrassment become anger?

We have decided to collate all of these resources into one post for ease of access. Each emotion has a list of suggestions, other words that are used to describe the emotion and a blank page to create your own coping strategies or distractions. We have included emotions such as calm and happy. It is important that we all know what we makes us feel calm and happy as that naturally becomes a coping strategy.

PDF Available below



We spend more time with ourselves than we do with anyone else.

We spend more time with ourselves than we do with anyone else.

This may seem like an obvious statement, but it is important to consider what it means. How many times do we talk of others and say “if only they could see themselves the way others see them!” ? There are so many statements and quotes that you will find out there that go along the same lines. These are important.

If we are in a room full of people we don’t like, we feel uncomfortable and desperate to escape. If we spend more time with ourselves than anyone else, then what happens when we don’t like ourselves? We can’t escape.

We have to learn to be comfortable in our own skin. This comes over the course of a lifetime, but needs to start at a young age. Of course, as we grow and mature we recognise that we can change things we don’t like. We can learn to be more patient. We can restyle our hair. We can learn to play an instrument. There is an importance though in recognising when to stop changing. We often tell our children and young people, “not to change for anyone else”. The idea of how valuable it is to be comfortable in our skin.

What I like about me

This can be used by all ages and is important that as adults, we stop and take check of how we view ourselves. Focusing on even just one thing for each column and talking about it and the why it has been chosen will help. It can be used at home or at school. It could be used as something to be given to teachers as an introduction to children or as part of health and wellbeing lessons!

As adults, we want to build up our children’s self confidence. To do this, we must be honest. If they are a rotten dancer (yip that’s me), don’t tell them they are the best. Use statements like “I like how you moved your hand there”. Allow them to dance just because they want to and not so that they are the best. Let them dance without commenting on it! Join in with them and talk about how much fun you are having! By telling our children they are the best at everything, when they discover they are not, they can start to doubt themselves and us.

Build their confidence by telling them the things they truly are good at. Talk about their personality traits that matter. So often we talk about avoiding commenting on your child’s looks, but it is important to tell them- particularly as they get to their teenage years. If they have beautiful eyes, tell them that. Just make sure that it isn’t only their looks we talk about as ‘beautiful or handsome”.

If we teach them their value and continue to instil this in them as they grow, we are giving them something to fall back on when they fall our with friends, or are struggling to do long division or if a relationship breaks or they lose their job or there is another lockdown. Instilling in them, their worth is so important for today and every day of their lives.



Mental Health Awareness Week

Over the past couple of months, we have created and posted lots promoting positive mental wellbeing. We know there are so many people struggling and we aim to ensure that our children and young people grow up with a better awareness of themselves so that they can develop and use their own coping strategies. This will, hopefully allow them to have improved mental health as they grow to become adults. Mental wellbeing can deteriorate and any age, but with the right support, can also improve at any age. Below is something we have aimed at older children, teenagers and adults.

Take care!

improving mental wellbeing

Explaining Social Distancing

It can be very difficult to explain social distancing to anyone who finds it difficult to understand. We have created some resources to try to help. We are not going into details of Coronavirus and do not mention it. These resources have been created with the idea of returning to school. At the moment we are still following the Stay Home Save Lives advice so please continue to use this!


Social distance uk





Many of our families and schools have been in contact raising concerns about how some young people and children may react to having to wear a mask. There is so much uncertainty at the moment that everyone is feeling. Children and young people are feeling this too.

For some people, seeing someone wearing glasses for the first time or having their hair cut can have change the way they see the person and they may not recognise them immediately. Their brain is having to process too much at once. No matter how well they may know the person, change in look is a huge thing to process. Normally, saying “I am going for a hair cut” or ” I have had my hair cut/am wearing new glasses” etc can help with this transition.

Another way to help prepare for change is to make up games. Perhaps cut photographs up of people’s face. Cut the face into three and then swap noses onto different people or mouths or eyes.

We have also visualised a game using a mirror to help.

Mirror Game

Helping Around the House Visuals

We have mentioned in previous posts about the importance of using visuals to support independence. We have also looked at the importance of breaking down instructions. To help with this, we are making some resources to visualise activities to promote independence in helping around the house. Our PDFs are beside the photos in blue text and underlined.

Setting the Table

We have included a blank example and the visuals you may need to make your own. Not everyone uses place mats and napkins. Use what works for you and your family.

Set the Table

Setting the table

Set the Table Blank

table set

Washing the Dishes

Cleaning the dishes

helping at home 2

Dance Moves

Just a wee treat for you all! Anyone else had that experience of being at a party and the dance floor fills up when a certain song  comes on but you can’t figure it out. Here are some of our go to dances that are sure to get the dance floor busy! Why not learn one as a family?  More to follow!



The Time Warp

Resources From Home: Kitchen

We know how difficult (and expensive) working from home can be. So we have been looking at resources that can be made from every day items found around the house. Let us know what you think! Remember this isn’t about perfection – which is obvious if you look at our homemade resources – it is about the involvement and the engagement. It is about the fine motor skills in the cutting, writing and posting; It is about the processing of sorting into categories. It is about fun!


Put Shopping Away

Communication for All: Interactive Shopping List

This is similar to our Now/Next and First/Then Boards. You can use this on a smart phone or tablet by downloading PowerPoint or keynote etc. Then stretch the page to see all the visual and using your finger drag what you need onto your shopping list. This also work if you are shopping for someone who cannot leave their house. They would simply screenshot their shopping list and send it as a photo.

Click the link below to download.

Shopping List Interactive




Card Game Rules

Card games are hugely popular. Using visuals alongside verbal and written rules make them easier to explain and understand.

Snap Rules

Go Fish


We will be adding more resources to this blog post so please comment with other games you would like to see visualised.


PDF Version Available here card games

Go Fish

Communication for all: Talking Boards

Beginning a conversation can be difficult. Sometimes we want to talk but our brains are too busy processing to find the starting point. These tables below can be used to help. They can be used using open questions such as “What do you like about ___” or closed questions “Do you like…” These can be used to support people who communicate only with their eyes or who can point. They can also be used with people who have no issues verbally but sometimes struggle when nervous.


As adults, how great would these be in situations such as job interviews, when your nerves take over?

We will continue to add more.

PDF Version available here Conversation Boards

Communication for All: Shopping Lists

Having a shopping list is great for all ages. It means that you can shop for just what you need, you won’t forget anything or to keep others on track during the shopping visit.

When there are times that shopping trips for necessity need to become a single person (or single parent) event, having other members of the household create a shopping list can allow them some normality by making them feel part of the experience. Allowing your young person/child/partner/elderly relative to write or draw their shopping list gives them indepedence and control. (See our previous posts about the importance of control)

For some of our family and friends who are experiencing health issues – particularly associated to memory, we use these images below which we stick on to each appliance. Once we have completed the shopping we add visuals (or write words) to show what is inside the fridge/freezer/cupboard. Once the item has run out ( for example the milk) the visual (or word) is added to the shopping list.



PDFS Available here Shopping List

Understanding Autism Powerpoint

John’s Powerpoint

This PowerPoint was created by an autistic child who wanted to help people understand what autism means to him. He has given his permission to share this and hope it helps. 

Autism Awareness Week

This PowerPoint was used to try to explain how the brain works for Primary children but can be used for all ages. Although the title is Autism Awareness Week, it can be used at any time.

What you might need to make your own ‘first and then’ board.

Our last post gave instructions on how to make your own board on a tablet or smart phone. This post will include examples and some of the symbols and resources you may need. Remember to save as image (if using a smart phone or tablet) or right click and save as picture (if using a computer).

First and then board

Chore Symbols

Getting Dressed Symbols

Tidy room symbols

First and Then chore boards

These boards have the chores on them, they are both the same except one board uses the words ‘now/next’ and the other uses ‘first/then’.

now and next chore first and then chore

First and Then getting dressed boards

first and then getting dressed now and next getting dressed


Tidy Room Boards

first and then tidy room    now and next tidy room

Interactive first and then board

Some of our families and many of our schools use first and then boards or now and next boards. Whether you call them first and then or now and next, it doesn’t matter as long as you are consistent. If you do go between the two, remember you have to explictly teach that first/now mean the same and then/next mean the same.

Did you know that you can create your own interactive one on a tablet or smart phone? All you need is to download Powerpoint (or Keynote etc) onto the tablet or phone.

We will upload a couple of examples here that you can download by clicking on them or if there is a particular one you need, leave us a comment and we can make and send you it.

Step 1. Download Powerpoint (or Keynote etc) to Tablet or Phone.

Step 2 : Click  now and next  for an example board.

Step 3:  Once the page opens, zoom out so that you can see all of the symbols.  

Step 4: Drag and drop the symbols onto space you want it to be in.

Step 5 : Zoom in so you can only see the now/next and required symbols.

NB If using an iPad or iPhone check guided access is on in settings (you will find this under General – Accessibility-Learning-Guided Access). If you turn this on, you can effectively lock the screen so the child/young person can only have access to the board. (triple click the home button to activate and deactivate)


Information About Autism

This information is designed for teenagers and adults in order to gain more understanding about what being autistic means.


My brain processes communication differently so I may need you to change the way you say something, how long our communication lasts or how long it takes for me to answer you.

Sometimes I know you are talking to me, but I cannot focus on what you are saying because my brain is trying to process too much information.

I may not look at you because looking at you means my brain has to process how you look and try to work out what your body language and face is saying.

My brain has to work really hard to do this, so sometimes in order to process what you are saying I won’t look at you.

I may misunderstand situations with others and it may take me time to move on from this.

For example I may become upset if you ask me to be quiet because my brain processes that as me being given into trouble. I have to work through this

process and might need help.

I may base my communication on past experience which means that sometimes I may react in an unexpected way.

For example if someone has laughed when I have said or done something     before, I may expect others to react the same way.

This works the other way too -if someone laughs at something I say or do and that is not my past experience, it may take me time to move on.

If someone reacts differently to what I expect, my brain starts trying to work out why the reaction was different.

If you are asking a group I am in to do something, I may not initially process that you are asking me to do something too so I may respond slightly later than others.




Naming Emotions

We have previously spoken about the importance of giving children and young people the name of emotions as this helps to validate the feeling and to give them some control over it. We are going to be adding more emotion resources below as we have them ready. This resource offers children and young people strategies to help them to cope when they feel a certain way. Sometimes it is about focussing on a distraction until the emotion feels smaller. This allows children and young people the opportunity to be able to face and deal with their emotion appropriately.

It is important that once children and young people have worked through this, they can edit this and add in the strategies that work for them. So we are including blank sheets too.







Coping Strategy- Work to distract

We have spoken so much about the impact of anxiety on children and young people (and on parents). We are now going to look at different coping skills. Today our focus is on those who need to work. Just like adults, there will be children out there who cannot face school work yet. That is okay! This is a slow process, we have time. We do not need to apply pressure if that is going to make them feel worse. We allow them to develop and use their own coping strategies. If they don’t have any, we help them by showing them what we do to cope. We allow them breaks from their anxiety by having fun – timing one another to see who can wear the most clothes at once; going for a walk and pretending every piece of litter is an animal in the jungle that we have to sneak past and not waken; building lego; watching a movie; having a bubble bath. There are so many things we CAN do.

For others, the need to work is there. For some they are experiencing huge anxiety and need to work to distract themselves. This is their coping strategy and is okay as long as they also take the time to deal with their anxiety. Some children and adults work because they enjoy it. This is okay too!

We are attaching a document below for those who want to or need to work. It is a focus on literacy and looking at nouns, verbs and adjectives. Attached are photos so can be done on a tablet by saving to photo and editing.


Page 1 is a visual to show what a verb. noun and adjective is.



Pages 2-9. If you save as photo. Open in your tablet/smart phone and click edit. Now you can circle, underline or draw lines to match as appropriate.

PDF Available here Noun Verb Adj Task


Remember this is not about pressure, it is about relieving anxiety. So do as much or little as you want. Most importantly, take care of yourself!